Big investment banks have worst start to year since 2006

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LONDON (Reuters) - The world’s largest investment banks have had their worst start to a year since 2006, according to the latest data published by industry analyst Coalition on Thursday.

In the first six months of 2019 investment banks reported revenues of $76.8 billion, down 11% on the prior year and the lowest first-half performance for 13 years.

Revenues fell across the board, with the deepest decline in equities trading, down 17% to $22.1 billion.

Fixed income, currencies and commodities revenues fell 9%, while investment bank advisory was down 8%.

The banks’ profitability also suffered, with operating margins sliding 500 basis points to 31%, their lowest level for four years.

Several major banks have cut jobs in their investment banking divisions in response to weak results, including Deutsche Bank DBKGn.DE., HSBC HSBA.L, Societe Generale SOGN.PA and Citigroup C.N.

Deutsche Bank plans to make the deepest cuts after announcing 18,000 jobs cuts in July, with the bulk in investment banking.

Coalition tracks Bank of America Merrill Lynch BAC.N, Barclays BARC.L, BNP Paribas BNPP.PA, Citi, Credit Suisse CSGN.S, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs GS.N, HSBC, JP Morgan JPM.N, Morgan Stanley MS.N, Societe Generale and UBS UBSG.S.

Reporting by Iain Withers. Editing by Jane Merriman